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whole mirrored in the river and backed by the world before our days, and stood where the mountains or shore. What a picture we stand, on the apex of the pyramid of did the isle of Philæe present of old! what Cheops, where we see beneath us the regrandeur in its ruin and desolation now! markable grave-field whence the Moses
Turn round, and look on that desert- rod of science summons forth the shadows the desert of Libya : observe, it is an of the mighty dead! The inner walls of ocean of sand, and desolate rock-hills, those mausoleums still bear, fresh and disboundless, colorless, soundless, animated tinct, after the lapse of centuries, the whole by no beast, no plant, no trace of human of Egyptian life in paintings, executed presence, not even by graves. Between when that life was passing before the the river and the desert is a desecrated painter's eye. The old life of Egypt may necropolis, the burial-place of ancient indeed be said to live everlastingly in its Memphis, where all the resources of art sepulchres. Not merely in the sepulchral were lavished to preserve inviolate the caverns below, however, but also on temdead, whose ashes have long since min- ples and tombs in all parts of the land, gled with the sands, or been tossed to the are these instructive paintings found. At winds, as if in derision of the care be- Thebes they are very numerous. Out of stowed on perishing dust, or in reproof of Thebes the most interesting are those of the idolatrous worship there paid of old the funeral grottos of Sivah, Kab, and to the corpses of dead men and women. Beni-Hassan. Yes, those are the mummy-pits; those The Beni-Hassan pictures are perhaps are the tombs whence have been taken the most remarkable for full and circumthe mummies of our collections.
stantial details of private every-day life. From this our lofty position what a land- As you leave the glare of daylight, and scape spreads out around us! and, with pass the threshold of the tomb, the vail of the view, what a flood of reminiscences! three thousand years seems suddenly lifted Over those hills and from the desert be- up. Yon enter the houses and fields of yond, came that wanderer in search of the ancient inhabitants, and witness their food whom I pictured to you just now; labors and their diversions. Among the and these pyramids he beheld, for in his subjects are agricultural scenes—plowing, time they had stood many centuries. In sowing, reaping, and housing the produce the plain below, on which those huge in granaries—all going on under your own structures cast their shadow, is the repre- eyes; boat-making, pottery-manufacture, sentative of that Memphis where lived basket-manufacture, military and gymnasthe monarchs on one of whose graves we tic exercises, hunting, wrestling, dancing, stand. In that same city dwelt Joseph, tumbling; musical entertainments, with ruling the country under one of the wisest performers of both sexes ; the trial of a and mightiest Pharaohs of the new em- delinquent, and the bastinado; collections pire. Further on to the left of the Mokat- of birds of splendid plumage ; vases and tam mountains, where you see the fertile furniture. In these scenes, one is conplain border the eastern arm of the Nile, tinually struck with the close resemblance on the other side of Heliopolis, the city of of ancient customs, instruments, and utenOn, whence Joseph took his wife—a city sils to those that are now in use. A yoke still distinguishable by its solitary obelisk of oxen plowing, with the rustic behind, -begins the fruitful country of Goshen, a might be taken for a modern scene in the district specially suited to a pastoral peo- neighboring fields of Beni Hassan. And ple like Jacob and his sons. From that just as the monkish architects of the midpart, Moses led the Israelites forth to the dle ages gave expression to the ridiculous Syrian wilderness, raising a horde of fugi- and grotesque conceits of their brains in tive slaves into a great nation, and making carved bosses, with which they adorned that nation God's “ peculiar people.” Al- the exterior of their churches, or in the most can we from this height recognize carved seats with which they furnished that ancient fig-tree on the way to Heli- the stalls of the choir, so the Egyptian opolis, near Mataríeh, beneath the shade painters indulged their creative art in freaks of which, according to the legends of the of imagination and strokes of satire which land, Mary rested with the Holy Child. recall some of the most effective drawings
How many thousands of pilgrims from of the Parisian or London Charivari. all nations have sought these wonders of But we have occupied our elevated spot
RELATIVE DIMENSIONS OF THE COLOSSEUM AND GREAT PYRAMID.
The three great pyramids of Gizeh are the chief of an assemblage of sepulchral works, once the cemetery of the rich and noble Memphis. The far-famed group are based on a ledge of rock, seventy or eighty feet high, rising out of a swell in an arid waste, just where it sinks into the cultivated lands, and between five and
six miles from the Nile. long enough. The shadows of evening On leaving Gizeh, on the river bank, opare gathering around. Egypt is always posite old Cairo, the pyramids rise before singular and interesting, but under an au- you, glittering white against the blue sky; tumnal sunset it is beautiful. The sun but the flatness of the plain, and the purity sinks behind a grove of palms, in a golden of the atmosphere, deceive the eye as to sky, upon which their most delicate feath- their distance, and consequently their size. erings are distinctly described. A rich You appear almost at their base while amber light glows over the landscape, and several miles really intervene. As you makes the meanest and most uncouth ob- advance, they unfold their gigantic dimenjects look beautiful. But come, let us sions; but you must have been some time descend; for the twilight is very brief; on the spot, your eye must have repeatsoon the feeblest star will have lighted its edly traveled along the Great Pyramid, lamp, and the black vault of heaven seem 740 feet of base, and up its steep towerthickly studded with brilliants.
ing angles, before you can fully understand On those skies, and those celestial phe- its immensity, and the untold amount of nomena, Abraham looked, and, while he labor involved in its erection. Thoulooked, adored their Maker. By the deep- sands of enormous stones, cut in the quarcolored waters of that swelling and tructi- ry of the Mokattam hills, all accurately fying stream were his eyes saluted, and squared and adjusted, are here elevated there he learned that God's goodness was hundreds of feet from the ground; and not confined to either the country of his each was hoisted step by step up the sides, birth or the country of his adoption. The till it reached its bed. To raise a single Egypt of to-day is pretty much the Egypt block to the higher part of the building of two thousand or four thousand years would be an arduous task, probably defyago. In regard to great national objects, ing all the mechanics of modern Egypt. therefore, we need incur no risk when The dimensions of the Great Pyramid, asked whether or not they fell under the built by Cheops, (the Chufu of the monupatriarch's eye. That necropolis, for in- ments,) are these :stance, was tenanted in his days, and was Original base.............. ... ... .
764 feet. doubtless surveyed by him. The same Actual base.......
746 may be said of the Pyramids. Temples,
Original inclined height ........
611 too, of the hugest proportions then bur
Actual perpendicular height..... 450 dened the soil, though the style of the The original perpendicular height, therearchitecture in general was more simple fore, supposing the pyramid to have been and massive than it afterward became. carried up nearly to a point, was about
The tomb of that monarch himself must 480 feet, or 43 feet more than St. Peter's, now receive some attention. That tomb and 110 more than St. Paul's. The area is the Great Pyramid. What an idea of covered was above thirteen acres. But the grandeur of these old Pharaohs does these figures give only a vague idea of such a sepulchre suggest! What a labor | this gigantic mass, for the description of to raise so ponderous a structure! What which our language has no adequate epia despotism which could command the thets. Let us, then, compare it with the requisite amount of toil! And what a Roman Colosseum, built by Vespasian and religious power which could prompt obe- | Titus. That splendid amphitheatre held dience and sustain the consequent efforts! | 100,000 spectators. On its dedication,
5,000 wild beasts were killed in gladiato- same contracted dimensions, descending rial combats within its walls. Now, this at a steep slope into the heart of the pyrwell-named colossal building would stand amid. The passage of entrance continues within the Great Pyramid, (the most downward in a straight line from the northerly of the three, and nearest to the mouth for about 320 feet, and leads to a river,) leaving spaces the most ample, as large subterraneous chamber under the appears in the cut on the preceding page. apex of the pyramid, and far beneath its
So far did the mausoleum of an Egyp- base. At a point about sixty feet from tian prince, whose era is all but lost in the the entrance, this channel meets an asthick shades of primeval night, surpass cending passage, which runs inwardly the proudest monument of imperial Rome, toward the center of the building. The erected by the very emperors that de passage breaks off at an angle ; and of stroyed Jerusalem, the city of the descend- the two passages thus formed, one runs ants of " faithful Abraham.” According horizontally to an apartment about 17 feet to Pliny, 336,000 men were employed in long, 16 feet wide, and 20 feet high, called the erection of that stupendous tomb, dur- the Queen's Chamber; it stands nearly ing twenty years. Herodotus states, that under the apex. The other passage leads an inscription in the interior gave 12,600 upward to the King's Chamber, 34 feet talents as the expense of providing the long, 17 wide, and 19 high, being a little workmen with onions and other vegetable southward and eastward of the vertical food. The sum, probably some $1,500,- line. In this chamber modern research 000, gives no exact idea of the labor, found a sarcophagus, which, being empty because the value of money, as measured and without a lid, gave proofs of having in food, was then very unlike what it is been rifled; the exterior length of this now. Colonel Vyse estimates the exist- stone coffin is seven feet six inches, and ing masonry of the Great Pyramid at its breadth three feet three inches. Im6,316,000 tons. An ancient caliph is said mediately over the King's Chamber are to have determined to demolish the Pyr- five open spaces, thought to have been left amids. Learning, however, that the vacant in order to lessen the pressure upon whole of one year's tribute from Egypt the King's Chamber, and prevent its flat would not defray the cost, he wisely gave roof from being crushed. When these it up.
chambers were forced, several quarry The Great Pyramid, like all others, had marks and a few rough hieroglyphics still its entrance on the north. On that front remained on the walls. The latter were is the present entrance found. That en- the first traces of writing discovered within trance is an opening about three feet and the Pyramids. Though probably nothing a half wide, rather more than four feet more than the chance scribbling of Cheops' high, fifty feet above the base, and some- masons, they are the most interesting fruits what to the east of the center. This is of Colonel Vyse's labors in exploring these the mouth of a long low tunnel, of the sacred structures. Among them appeared
the name of Shufu, who is admitted to be sums were lavished by the ancient Egypthe Suphis or Cheops, to whom Manetho tians on the funerals of the sacred animals. and Herodotus ascribe the erection.
The third pyramid was built by the The second pyramid, built by Chepren, monarch called by Herodotus Mycerincos, (Chaphra of the monuments,) stands about whose name appears on the monuments as two hundred yards south-west of that of Menkera. The name was found by Vyse Cheops. Having retained the upper part in a large apartment within the structure. of its casing, and lost little from its apex, In this pyramid the coffin of the builder it rises nearly to the same height as the himself seems to have been found. The greater one, which has suffered much from sarcophagus is of basalt. The lid was abrasion and depredation. The internal broken; the mummy had been removed. arrangement of the two edifices is similar. but among the rubbish of the chamber a It contains a sarcophagus, which is sunk portion of a wooden case appeared ;—that in the floor. When discovered, the lid case bore the name of Menkera. The was half removed; amidst dust and rub- sarcophagus, which weighed nearly three bish within were found relics of the bones tons, was with difficulty got out and sent of a bull; and it was concluded that they to England, but the vessel in which it was were the remains of some bovine deity embarked was lost off Carthagena in 1838. honored with sepulture in this vast mau So much for the Pyramids. We shall soleum. It is well known that immense return to the subject in our next.
When the warm sun, that brings
Inverted in the tide Seed-time and harvest, has return'd again, Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows 'Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
throw, The first flower of the plain.
And the fair trees look over, side by side, I love the season well,
And see themselves below. When forest glades are teeming with bright Sweet April-many a thought forms,
Is wedded unto thee as hearts are wed,
Life's golden fruit is shed.
[For the National Magazine.] Though stricken to the heart with winter's cold,
Far oe'r the eastern mountain's snow-crown'd
crest Comes from the pleasant woods, and color'd wings
Appears a misty vail of somber gray, Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves
And soon the giant shades begin to sway along
Backward and forward slowly, ill at rest. The forest openings.
The fiery glances of Sol's waking eye,
Anon, like arrows, pierce the breast of night, When the bright sunset fills
While ghostly shadows stride across the sky, The silver woods with light, the green slope And hide, in western forests, from the light. throws
Before the morning star the sunbeams dance, Its shadows in the hollows of the hills,
While she shrinks backward from their ardent And wide the upland glows.
And, as Apollo's fiery steeds advance, [gaze, And, when the eve is born,
Is lost amid the golden dust they raise ! In the blue lake the sky, o'er-reaching far,
And Nature, throwing off the robe of night, Is hollow'd out, and the moon dips her horn
Bathes her fair face in floods of crystal light! And twinkles many a star.
W. S. PET son.